The guys who make the NFL schedule might want to avoid Mike Zimmer at the next league meeting, because the Vikings coach is not happy with them right now.
Specifically, Zimmer is upset about the fact that his team has to fly to Los Angeles for a Thursday game against the Rams. Basically, not only do the Vikings have deal with a short week, but they're going to lose nearly six hours of preparation time because they have to fly to the West Coast (Four-hour flight plus travel time to the airport plus checking into your hotel, etc, etc.).
During a press conference on Tuesday, Zimmer made it clear that he's unhappy with the situation.
"Yes, it's a problem," Zimmer said, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Zimmer seems to have two issues with the NFL's scheduling office. First, the Vikings have never got to play a short-week game at home during his four-plus seasons as Minnesota's coach.
"We haven't had a home game on a short week since I've been here in five years," Zimmer said.
During Zimmer's time in Minnesota, the Vikings have played five Thursday games. Although the Vikings did play one of those at home, that game came after the Vikings played on Thanksgiving, so it wasn't a short-week game as Minnesota and Dallas both had a full week to prepare.
Zimmer's other issue is that flying across the country on a short week puts your team at a distinct disadvantage.
"It is what it is. We go out and play the schedule however they do it," Zimmer said. "I know the statistics about going to the West Coast on a short week and all of that. Part of the reason we are going out [Tuesday], we did a study on preparing for a game on a short week, all of those things."
Those statistics Zimmer is referring to paint an ugly picture for the Vikings heading into Thursday's game, which is why he has every right to be upset. Since the reincarnation of Thursday Night Football in 2006, only 10 teams have had to do what Minnesota is doing this week: Flying two time zones west for a Thursday game.
In those 10 games, the visiting team has gone 0-10 and failed to cover the spread all 10 times. We tackled that travel topic, you can check out what happened in each of those 10 games.
The only upside for the Vikings is that their players seem eager to get back on the field after Sunday's shocking 27-6 loss to the Bills. Tight end Kyle Rudolph actually sounds excited about playing on Thursday.
"The best thing about this is that we play in four days. So you don't have time to sit back and think about how poorly we played," Rudolph said, via the team's official website. "The best way to bounce back from such a poor performance is to go play well. Thankfully we don't have to wait seven days to go play well."
Wide receiver Adam Thielen seemed to agree with Rudolph's take.
"If anything, [the Buffalo loss] makes it easier to go out on a Thursday night because we want to get back on the field and show we're not the team that we showed [against the Bills]," Thielen said.
If the Vikings were to win, they'd be the first team since the 1995 New York Giants to fly two time zones west on a short week and pull off a win. Twenty-three years ago, the Giants won a 10-6 barnburner over the Cardinals. From 2006 to 2017, this travel scenario only happened 10 times. However, it will happen twice in 2018. Besides the Vikings, the Packers will be in this situation when they fly to Seattle for a Thursday game in Week 11.